Robustness and uncertainties in global multivariate wind-wave climate projections

Morim, Joao; Hemer, Mark; Wang, Xiaolan L.; Cartwright, Nick; Trenham, Claire; Semedo, Alvaro; Young, Ian; Bricheno, Lucy ORCID:; Camus, Paula; Casas-Prat, Mercè; Erikson, Li; Mentaschi, Lorenzo; Mori, Nobuhito; Shimura, Tomoya; Timmermans, Ben; Aarnes, Ole; Breivik, Øyvind; Behrens, Arno; Dobrynin, Mikhail; Menendez, Melisa; Staneva, Joanna; Wehner, Michael; Wolf, Judith ORCID:; Kamranzad, Bahareh; Webb, Adrean; Stopa, Justin; Andutta, Fernando. 2019 Robustness and uncertainties in global multivariate wind-wave climate projections. Nature Climate Change, 9 (9). 711-718.

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Understanding climate-driven impacts on the multivariate global wind-wave climate is paramount to effective offshore/coastal climate adaptation planning. However, the use of single-method ensembles and variations arising from different methodologies has resulted in unquantified uncertainty amongst existing global wave climate projections. Here, assessing the first coherent, community-driven, multi-method ensemble of global wave climate projections, we demonstrate widespread ocean regions with robust changes in annual mean significant wave height and mean wave period of 5–15% and shifts in mean wave direction of 5–15°, under a high-emission scenario. Approximately 50% of the world’s coastline is at risk from wave climate change, with ~40% revealing robust changes in at least two variables. Furthermore, we find that uncertainty in current projections is dominated by climate model-driven uncertainty, and that single-method modelling studies are unable to capture up to ~50% of the total associated uncertainty.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 1758-678X
Date made live: 20 Nov 2019 14:51 +0 (UTC)

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